April 23, 2024

The Grand “Champions of Krynn” AAR ~ Part Fifteen

Michael Eckenfels, 30 July 2023

Champions of Krynn AAR: Part 15, Gold, Frankincense, and Myrtani

We continue our uninvited exploration of Gargath Keep, in search of the Dragonlance, which is also sought after by Bad Guy #1, Myrtani, whom is apparently an Aurak Draconian.

Here’s what the game manual says about an Aurak:

Created from the eggs of gold dragons, they attack with energy bolts, poisonous gas or their claws and fangs. When an Aurak is slain it turns into a blazing ball of attacking energy for several rounds and then explodes. Auraks have the ability to mind control characters of 7th level and below.

Oh, awesome. Here’s another Draconian that does a neat, new parlor trick when it dies. It blows up. Perfect. Plus mind control, because why not?

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We continue our way upwards through the Keep, not bothering now with much exploration (other than finding the damnable stairs which seem to be never-ending).

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Eventually, we get to the floor that the guy we met in the last Chapter told us about – an illusory wall hiding the location of the Dragonlance!

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Could it be THAT easy? Are we about to lay our hands on one of the most powerful weapons in the Dragonlance mythos?

Hahahaha, no.

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WOMP WOMP. Looks like we missed the lootin’ party.

Still, there’s a few things left over that our predecessors missed in their haste to rob the place blind. How DARE they rob the place blind before we can?

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I failed to take a screenshot, but there’s exactly two items, here. One is a magical Longsword. The other is a cursed Two-Handed Sword.

How do I know this? Because, that’s why.

The magical Long Sword is +1, but +4 versus Reptiles. This includes Draconians. So, it goes to Sir Fsup, our main melee tank in the party.

The cursed Two-Handed Sword remains where it is, in the room. Actually, it disappears, because Gold Box games give no frick about you. If you choose to not pick up a treasure, it disappears into the mists of pixelated small memory that these kinds of games had to deal with back in the day.

We exit this secret room and wind our way up the tower even more. The floor area is starting to narrow, making it much easier to locate stairs going up. Eventually, we reach the top room and burst in on a Draconian get-together of some kind.

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Looks like the roaches are trying to fly the coop, so to speak.

Including Myrtani.

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He’s gettin’ away!

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More minions to deal with. We have a few Elvish Curates to face, whom are spellcasters, plus a bunch of Dracos.

Now’s a great time to try a Hold Person spell on the Curates. It seems Wynn always gets initiative in every fight, and there’s a bunch of enemy spellcasters to handle, so this seems a better option than her trying to thwack someone with her +1 Flail.

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Joke’s on me, it seems to work really well. Both Curates are put out of action.

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A little Stinking Cloud here too and we can make life more inconvenient for our enemies.

It’s not long before we’re able to down the Draconians, especially after their two spellcasters are taken out of action early.

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We’re now faced with a quiet room.

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The staircase that Myrtani ran up and away upon so bravely lies before us. We move up to it, and…

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He not only laughs at us, but he throws a few more minions at us to slow our pursuit down.

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A few Stinking Cloud spells end this encounter quickly. The Draconians are not always susceptible to it, but it does tend to work more often than not. And even if it does not, the AI isn’t terribly smart; the Draconians will move right through it to try to get to us, and it’s usually 50/50 if they’ll choke and gag and therefore become paralyzed and unable to fight.

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The downside to Stinking Cloud is, it doesn’t last but for a handful of rounds; it will dissipate before long, and enemies caught in it will recover afterwards. You have to act fast once you use this spell, if possible.

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We’re faced with the stairs, finally, and nothing else. We of course run up them to give further pursuit.

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More stairs, more running upwards.

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More minions try to stop us, but we reduce them to their component…uh…puddles.

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Still we pursue this Aurak up the stairs, and still he throws minions at us. Yet, we are able to undo each attempted attack. Though, there are so many of them that I worry Myrtani will get away.

Not that it truly matters. Gold Box games are trigger-based, not time-based. At least, not these early ones. I could encamp for a month here and resume the pursuit to find whatever scripted encounter will happen, happen.

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Welp, like I said. Scripted encounter runs, we’re too late, blah blah blah. I could have seen this coming, though struggling through so much of the enemy only to be rewarded with little, if anything, is frustrating. The prize – the Dragonlance – has eluded our grasp.

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Oh, awesome. Black Dragons!

BLACK DRAGON

They are noted for spitting a stream of deadly acid as well as attacking with claws and fangs. Since they are extremely independent and only obey commands if it suits their purpose, Black Dragons were rarely used in direct assaults by the evil Dragon Highlords. They were more highly valued as guards.

I guess following Myrtani’s commands “suits their purpose” here. 

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And of course, Myrtani gets away. Sigh.

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Oh yeah, and three Black Dragons to deal with, now.

Wait, I almost forgot.

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Heh-heh-heh.

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Of course, lighting this Wand off in the middle of an enclosed space isn’t the brightest of ideas, but I target the furthest tile away and we still manage to cut down all three Dragons with one shot. Smashen catches some damage too, but that can’t be helped, and he has plenty of hit points anyway.

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That done, we are rewarded with some easy XP.

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And suddenly are faced with an empty tower top. We have no option but to climb down.

Through more random encounters, of course.

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As we climb down, the only option the party seems to have now is to return to the Outpost and level up, and seek council from Sir Karl. On the way out of the Keep, we explore a bit more of the area surrounding the Keep’s entrance, and stumble into an officer’s gathering.

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They ask us what unit we’re from. The only one I know of is 101, which we saw on a tattoo earlier, so this is how the party responds.

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They invite us to sit in on their little meeting. It might be a good place to gather some intel, so we readily accept sitting down rather than attacking.

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Oh, great. So we gather no intel but listen to some speeches that are hardly indicative of any enemy strategy nor plans. I’d hoped to hear something about where Myrtani may be, but that is not discussed here at all.

At least the food is good.

With full stomachs, we decide to attack.

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They didn’t see that coming.

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More fart spells and down they go, though. A challenge hardly even worth speaking of, except that…

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Journal Entry 23:

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Well, THAT was useless. That’s a map of the Keep’s entrance level. We’ve already been there and done that, so it’s time to leave this place.

We head to the front gates, confident we’ll be okay other than some random encounters. I’d already attacked the guards at the gate so that area should be clear.

Key word: should.

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Nope. More guards. A royal pain to deal with as they were tough when we came in, but now, more of the same.

Still, after a restart or six (it was about six reloads), we finally cut our way through the front gate and out into the fresh air.

We head back west to the Outpost to take care of business and see where we need to head to next.

End of Chapter 15


CHAMPIONS OF KRYNN AAR
PART ONE ~ PART TWO ~ PART THREE ~ PART FOUR ~ PART FIVE ~ PART SIX ~ PART SEVEN ~ PART EIGHT ~ PART NINE ~ PART TEN
PART ELEVEN ~ PART TWELVE ~ PART THIRTEEN ~ PART FOURTEEN ~ PART FIFTEEN ~ PART SIXTEEN ~ PART SEVENTEEN ~ PART EIGHTEEN ~ PART NINETEEN ~ PART TWENTY
PART 21 ~ PART 22 ~ PART 23 ~ PART 24 ~ PART 25 ~ PART 26 ~ PART 27 ~ PART 28 ~ PART 29 ~ PART 30


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There once was a game called Krynn,
With warriors, mages, and dragons within,
In Champions of might,
They battled all night,
For glory, for honor, to win.

The heroes were brave and true,
Fighting foes, both old and new,
With spells and with swords,
They faced their rewards,
To vanquish the dark and break through.

From the streets of Solace they roamed,
To the lairs where dragons called home,
With quests to fulfill,
And battles to thrill,
Champions of Krynn, on they’d roam.

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